posted on March 16, 2011 01:00
What Will Missouri Do Tomorrow Night? What Will Mike Anderson Do When The Season Comes To An End?
Despite the frustration that is watching the 2010-11 Missouri Tigers, I'll be locked in and hopeful when 8:50 rolls around tomorrow. What's it going to take for the Tigers to beat the Bearcats? What's the situation with Mike Anderson, Missouri, and Arkansas? We talked about that with former Missouri star and Tiger broadcaster Jon Sundvold on The ITD Morning After:
Tim: What’s your take on this Thursday’s matchup between the Tigers and the Bearcats?
Sundvold: It’s interesting because the seeding, when it comes out you start wondering, you know, obviously a six seed versus 11, the six should win. But taking a look at what Vegas says, Missouri is favored. I think that’s the whole tournament – I think you’ve got a few good teams and then the rest of them, throw them in a bag, shuffle them up and see who plays well. But Missouri’s got to play much better than they’ve been playing. They’ve not defended very well, they’ve not shot the ball very well over the last couple weeks and they’ve not really beaten anybody for about a month. So they’ve got to play well, I think people around Missouri basketball expect them to play well. And if they do then it should be a good game.
If not, Cincinnati is a powerful team, strong enough, physical enough which gives Missouri fits. I think Cincinnati plays a little bit like Texas A&M. They’re strong and if Missouri doesn’t play well defensively they could have a long night.
Tim: A lot of talk here over the last 48 hours about Mike Anderson and the potential move for the University of Arkansas after they let go of John Pelfrey on Sunday afternoon. What are your thoughts on what’s going to happen here with Anderson and Arkansas?
Sundvold: Internally I don’t know anything. I think if you’re Mike Anderson you take a look. I don’t think it’s a 100 percent guarantee that Arkansas comes calling, either. Nolan Richardson and his staff was fired, which included Mike Anderson. That never leaves a good taste and it was really ugly when it happened. And you leave a place – does that place want Mike Anderson back? There’s probably pros and cons of that, but lets just say they want him. If you’re Mike Anderson, I think what coaches do in today’s world is they always look and invite whatever offer and then you go to your athletic director and say, ‘here’s what I can get if I move.’ Mike’s been pretty good in the Columbia community, I think he likes it here, but you know what, if a guy gets an offer…I mean, he was in Fayettville for 20 years. But I’m not convinced Arkansas is making the offer and I’m not convinced that’s what his dream job is. He’s built something here and that doesn’t mean he couldn’t leave but he’s got his best team coming back next year so we’ll see. I think every coach has to look, and if it happens that he takes that job then Missouri finds another guy. That’s as simple as that.
Tim: I feel like there’s a decline in overall buzz, and it struck me as odd that there wasn’t as much Missouri basketball discussion. Do you see that, in lack of attendance, lack of buzz, or are we just off the mark?
Sundvold: It may be a combination of things. We built a new arena years ago, and that changes you fan base a little bit because in all the new arenas that have been built, everything changes on how seating is done. And so some of the local people that have been buying tickets for 30 years, now all of the sudden you have to up the ante to be able to buy the same seats you had. So you kind of lose an older generation of fans. You really do. And it’s the younger, more modern, nouveau wealthy (group) that gets to buy the seats – from maybe around the state, we’ll say. Well they don’t necessarily come to every game, so you lose some part of the fan base that’s there every game. So the arena’s not sold out. The second part is, I think there’s more things to do. I know for me, I’m a father of three, and there’s more going on in life than there was 20 years ago when fans had one or two things. Every game is on TV now, so that changes. In this country, outside of maybe a Kansas and a Duke and a Kentucky where it’s religion in those states, every arena I’ve gone to in the last 10 years if the team’s not playing well it’s not going to be sold out. If the team’s hot, like a couple years ago when Missouri was hot with Demarre Carroll and that group, it’s fun times at the arena. This year, the start was good and there was an excitement and a buzz, and again, in the last month they’ve not played well so the buzz leaves because there’s other things going on now. If this team makes a run in the tournament, if they win a couple games – let’s say they win three, let’s say they get to the Elite 8 – all of the sudden the buzz comes back and next year they’ll be a top five preseason pick.
I think it’s cyclical, and it’s cyclical now more even month to month, three months at a time or a year at a time versus back 15 or 20 years ago. But again, every game is on TV, every Missouri game is on TV…so if you’re a fan, you can watch without necessarily being a fanatic and going to every game. But I’ve seen that across the country…again, unless you’re in a crazy place like the University of Kansas where they would get 12,000 at an intrasquad game, most of these places struggle at times when they’re not playing as well as the fans want them to.
Listen to the full interview by clicking HERE.
Kyle Lohse: Spring Training Cy Young
If the Spring Training season were to end today---and if I took the time to actually look at other Spring Training statistics---Kyle Lohse would have to be up for Spring Training Cy Young...if there were such a thing.
Considering the absolute chaos Cardinal Spring Training was in just a few weeks ago when the club lost Adam Wainwright for the season, the potential windfall that the Cardinals have with Kyle Lohse and his 1.32 ERA in March is pretty strong.
Lohse joined the show to talk about what's going on to cause him have this success, what he's doing differently, and whether or not the staff is feeling pressure to fill the void left by the injury to Wainwright.
Tim: You’re still killing it, man. This is exciting. You’ve got to be thrilled, too, I would guess.
Lohse: Yeah I’m feeling good. Obviously this is still spring, and the idea is to get a good base heading into the season with the same stuff that I’m doing right now. It’s a good start so far and I’m happy I’m able to be out there and be consistent with my delivery and that the pitches are coming out the way they’re supposed to.
Tim: What is specifically working? Is there something you can point to? A particular pitch, arm slot, whatever the case might be, is working versus where you were last season – can you tell the difference?
Lohse: It’s just the ability of my forearm and fingers to work the way I want them to. It’s one of those things that I had a hard time describing to the trainers and doctors – I could still throw the ball 90 miles an hour, but I didn’t know exactly where it was going. This spring I’ve been able to locate stuff, pitches like my slider and changeup which you need a lot of finger pressure on the right spot on the ball to make it do what you want it to do, spin the certain way. I wasn’t able to get the right spin on the ball. I’d throw a loopy slider and then a changeup that didn’t dive as much as it is right now. And the big thing is being able to locate my fastball the way I want to down in the zone with movement and I’ve been able to do that. It’s coming along really well right now.
The Cat: Do you guys put any extra pressure on yourself with the injury to Wainwright, that collectively the starting rotation, everyone may be asked to lift a little more? Or is that really just talk, and you guys go out and go about your business as usual?
Lohse: I think a lot of that is just something that could be a distraction if you go out there and try to do more than you’re capable of. Nobody’s going to replace what Wainwright was and is. We’ve just got to go do the best we can every five days. If we’re out there trying to do too much, I’ve learned over my years that’s when you make a lot mistakes when you’re trying to be perfect and trying to throw a perfect game when it’s only the first inning. You’ve got to stay in the moment and that’s one thing, I think we’ve got a good staff and we’re going to be able to do that and pick up for that loss.
Listen to the full interview by clicking HERE.
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